Growing Herbs From Cuttings

Many plants do not produce viable seed or, if they do, it is so fiddly or slow to grow that it is easier and quicker to take cuttings from your favorite plant. Always keep your new cuttings moist and in a warm, sunny place.

Softwood Cuttings

1. In late summer, select a non-flowering shoot 3 to 4 in (7.5 to 10 cm) long from a healthy looking plant (Image 1). Try to avoid any stems that are too young and soft as these are harder to root.

2. Cut just below a leaf node using clean, sharp snippers and remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting. Prepare one cutting at a time so it does not dry out or deteriorate (Image 2).

3. Insert the cutting 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 in (3 to 4 cm) deep into a 50/50 vermiculite and fine compost mix. If the cutting bends too easily, it is too young or the compost too coarse (Image 3). Water well.

Woodier Cuttings

1. Select a firm, slightly woody, non-flowering side shoot 2 to 4 in (5 to 10 cm) long and gently cut or pull it away from the main stem so a sliver of woody bark remains on the cutting (Image 1).

2. Trim any wispy strands from the heel and carefully remove all the leaves from the lower half (Image 2). Insert the cutting into a 50/50 vermiculite and fine compost mix. Water well.

Lazy Cuttings

Look carefully at the underside of herbs such as camomile and thyme and you will see aerial roots growing from their stems. These will develop quite happily if detached and grown on in their own plug or pot.

Aerial Roots Grow in Own Pot

Aerial Roots Grow in Own Pot

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Propagating Mint Suckers

1. Remove suckers from containerized plants as they root if they touch bare soil (Image 1). Keep one or two for cuttings, but take care where you dispose of the rest as they grow well on the compost heap.

2. Cut just above a leaf node into segments 2-3/4 to 4 in (7 to 10 cm) long and insert four or five into each small pot, so that at least one pair of small young leaves are above the surface (Image 2).

Pinching Out

Sometimes there may not be adequate cutting material available. New side shoots will grow quite quickly if the top 2 to 4 in (5 to 10 cm) is pinched out. These shoots might even make good cuttings themselves.

Pinch Out Side Shoots and use for Cuttings

Pinch Out Side Shoots and use for Cuttings

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep Reading

Next Up

Growing Herbs

Plants can be expensive and identical cultivars difficult to source, but increasing your own stock or growing new varieties is not difficult and is very rewarding in exchange for a small amount of financial outlay.

Growing Herbs From Seed

Get tips on how to easily and inexpensively grow herbs from seed.

Basil: A Flavorful Herb That Looks Great in Containers

Grow from seeds in a sunny spot by themselves or in combination with other edible plants.

Dividing Herbs

Plants are not cheap, and some nurseries are reluctant to divulge the easiest methods of quickly growing more from a single specimen. Wait until your new plants are well rooted and then plant them out in the garden.

Grow an Olive Tree

Grow an olive tree and let it take summer vacations outdoors. If your climate is warm, you can even plant it in your garden.

Potager Herb Garden

Groups of symmetrically arranged raised beds provide an easy and attractive way to cultivate a wide range of herbs without having to set foot on the soil. Learn how to grow your own potager herb garden.

Growing Beans and Peas

Elegant flowers and a climbing habit make beans and peas ideal to grow in large containers in small gardens.

Growing Plants in Containers

Ideal for a small garden space or patio, container gardening is suitable for a large variety of plants.

How to Plant an Herb Container Garden

Herbs have been grown all over the world for centuries for their flavor and healthful benefits. Learn how to plant an herb container garden.

Top Tips for Growing Cucurbits

Zucchini, summer squash and cucumber plants all fall into this bountiful crop family.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.